Building community resilience to climate change: A Wolf Creek Community Alliance webinar series |

Building community resilience to climate change: A Wolf Creek Community Alliance webinar series


Wolf Creek Community Alliance will present two free Zoom webinars addressing ways the community can respond to the immediate threats from climate change. The webinars are scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 and 16.

The relentless fires, smoke, heat, drought, struggles with PG&E, and COVID-19 have most of us reeling. We are witnessing real shortages of water, breathable air, electricity, and the empty shelves in the early pandemic quickly showed us how vulnerable and easily disrupted our supply chain can be. These real doomsday scenarios can be paralyzing. These webinars are designed to offer some hope by presenting ways we can work together and build resilience to these threats in our community.

In a recent report, Wolf Creek Community Alliance (WCCA) identified climate change as the major threat to our watershed health. We are offering talks by local experts and leaders on building local resiliency and independence in response to these threats in our watersheds. Our goals are to amplify the messages, provide tools and resources, and expand the work that many local people are doing, to include many more concerned citizens, like you. Please join us in creating more self-sufficient, livable, and healthy watersheds.

The Sept. 9 presentation, “Building Energy Resilience, Community Health, and Food Security in Nevada County,” will feature two presenters. These will include Don Rivenes, who is coordinating chair of Nevada County Climate Action Now; advisory committee chair of the Sierra Forest Legacy; board member and conservation chair of Sierra Foothills Audubon Society, board member of Community Environmental Advocates; and board member of the Nevada County Biomass Task Force. The second presenter, Molly Nakahara, Sierra Harvest Farm Institute director.

Rivenes’s presentation, “Nevada County Renewable Energy and Energy Resilience,” will discuss the state’s clean energy goals. To meet California’s clean electricity goals to 60% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% renewable and carbon neutrality by 2045, Nevada County must change the ”business-as-usual model.“ Rivenes will discuss strategies for reducing energy use, increasing renewable energy sources, and creating energy resilience so that our community will have a reliable, regular supply of energy and contingency measures in place in the event of a power failure. Community members will also learn about ways to become involved in helping to achieve carbon neutrality and how to make energy independence a reality.

Nakahara’s presentation, “Nevada County Food System Assessment,” will examine the county’s current food system. The Nevada County Food Policy Council published the Nevada County Food Assessment in 2020. This comprehensive assessment looks closely at where the food Nevada County residents eat comes from, identifies challenges and fragilities of this current food system. The assessment also lays out steps toward a food system that builds community health and well-being. Learn more at

The Sept. 16 presentation, “Creating Climate Resilience in our Watersheds: Observations, Challenges, Actions,” will include three presenters: Jeff Lauder, PhD, forest ecologist and interim executive director of Sierra Streams Institute; Josie Crawford, biologist, executive director of the Wolf Creek Community Alliance; and David Whitehead, founding member of the Nevada County Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Lauder will discuss climate change-driven impacts to Sierra Nevada ecosystems and identifying drivers of climate susceptibility. Thi can help to develop strategies that pre-empt climate impacts. He will use two decades of data on water quality, climate, and land cover from the Deer Creek watershed —including both the hottest/driest and wettest years on record — as a case study.

Josie Crawford will give a brief description of the Wolf Creek Watershed, followed by David Whitehead, who will discuss what challenges we face and what actions can be taken now. This segment will include a discussion of climate change impacts on the Wolf Creek watershed including wildfires, smoke, aridity, rainfall, late season drought, lake and stream water temperatures, and habitat trends, among others.

Upcoming events will focus on making sure our watershed is covered in FireWise Communities. Working with the Fire Safe Council and the City of Grass Valley, we will focus immediate attention on protecting the areas in and around the City of Grass Valley, which currently have few FireWise Communities. FireWise USA is a national program that the Nevada County Fire Safe Council administers here.

Later this winter, the Bear Yuba Land Trust and others will present a program on their work addressing climate change. To register or learn more, email Josie Crawford at or call 530-559-6748.



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